These Artists Create Inspired Work That Will Make Your Space Pop
In collaborations with Lulu and Georgia, Malene Barnett, Nina Freudenberge and Élan Byrd created exclusive collections that are on sale now
From walls to rugs to pillows and more, these designers weave more than textiles—they merge the inspired artistry of design with a sense of cultural heritage and a storytelling tradition that elevates their work to the next level.
Barnett, a multidisciplinary artist and activist, is an authority on the cultural traditions and practices of art in the African diaspora. Much of her work aims to translate those traditions and practices into her vision of the modern Black experience.
She’s the founder of the Black Artists + Designers Guild, a global platform and curated collective of independent Black artists, makers and designers, according to her website. From her sculptural ceramic tiles and vessels to her mixed-media paintings and handwoven rugs, her work has been praised for both its authenticity and its community impact.
In her collaboration with Lulu and Georgia, Barnett’s exclusive Kindred Collection reimagines the patterns of her ceramic vessels as tactile wallcoverings.
“It’s been great working with Lulu and Georgia because we share the same passion for design, quality of materials, and attention to detail,” she said. “In addition, they understand the importance of storytelling through the artist’s vision to produce meaningful products for any interior space.”
Included in her collection is the Malou wallpaper, at $168 per roll. This piece celebrates the legacy of Afro-Caribbean women potters with its intricate and raised pattern. Also included in the Kindred Collection is her Alaari wallpaper, also $168, which offers earthy terracotta hues, and her Bequia wallpaper, with blue tones and a ripple-like design inspired by the Caribbean Sea. The Bequia wallpaper is $178 per roll.
Similarly, Byrd is a Miami-based artist and textile designer who creates tactile, abstract wall hangings, collages and paintings that celebrate organic forms. According to her website, she draws inspiration from ancient materials, architecture, woven textiles and the symbols early civilizations created as a form of communication.
Her work is heavily influenced by the cultural commonalities of ancient civilizations—the lives of one’s ancestors and the things they made.
“My inspiration for the collection is a combination of the traveled path of our ancestors mixed with the ancient dwellings they built along the way,” she said. “I’m inspired by the shapes and symbols found throughout that architecture in contrast to the organic lines found in the natural environments that surround them.”
This earthy aesthetic is well-represented in her pillow collection designed exclusively for Lulu and Georgia.
Her canyon pillow, which ranges in price from $98 to $198 depending on dimensions, is crafted on rough-hewn yet refined raw silk. Her stonewalk pillow, also ranging from $98 to $198, offers a mosaic design with a rich green shade that contrasts a dynamic pattern and terrene tones.
Finally, Freudenberger is a Los Angeles-based interior designer inspired by the women of the Bauhaus movement — a modernist art school of the late 19th and early 20th centuries that emerged in Germany as a response to the anxieties about the soullessness of modern manufacturing, and fears about art’s loss of social relevance. It was characterized by functional and abstract shapes, simple colors and holistic design.
All of which can be identified in Freudenberger’s geometric rugs produced for Lulu and Georgia.
“I wanted to make a collection that had the flexibility to work in multiple styles and multiple rooms,” she said.
Her bestselling Anni rug incorporates offsetting stripes and a multicolored palette, crafted from a durable wool-cotton blend. It’s named after Anni Albers, a groundbreaking textile artist, and is best-suited for high-traffic areas. It has a price tag ranging from $128 to $2,698, depending on the size.
Additionally, her Benita rug is inspired by artist Benita Koch,Otte, who explored innovative weaving techniques. Ranging in price from $148 and $3,798, it features a rich, tonal palette and abstract mosaic with geometric patterns and shades of ivory, beige, rust and green. The alternating high-low texture will add dimension to any space.
“My personal style centers around simplicity, and I love the idea of adding one item to complete the look of a room,” Freudenberger said.